Motorists: stop at stop bar to get a green light

| 29 Sep 2011 | 10:11

    DUNMORE - How often have you sat in your car at a red light, with no other vehicle in sight, waiting for it to turn green? Chances are, if you pulled up just a few feet closer, your vehicle would activate the signal and turn it green. PennDOT District 4 traffic engineers remind you that a “stop bar” or “stop line” is a solid white line, normally 24 inches wide extending across approach lanes to a traffic signal. Normally it is placed at the desired stopping place. Very often motorists are unaware of this traffic feature which exists at most intersections and at construction sites where a single lane must be shared by alternating lanes of traffic. PennDOT engineers have observed this driver behavior most recently at flood-related bridge reconstruction projects where, unaccustomed to new traffic patterns and temporary signs and signals, motorists cautiously approach the area, stopping too far away to activate the signal. (Example, Route 118, Luzerne County). “Occasionally at an intersection, the stop bars for left turns may be farther away from the center of the intersection to allow room for trucks to turn left,” says Jerilyn Luben, PennDOT District 4 assistant traffic engineer-Signals. “If the vehicle is beyond the stop bar, it will not be detected. In order to get a green light, stop at the stop bar.” On one-lane construction sites, usually a sign at the intersection instructs motorists to “Stop Here on Red.” As the vehicle approaches, a device detects the vehicle and begins the countdown for the signal change.